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How to get your horse's coat show ready with Tip Top Showing

This article has appeared previously with Equestrian Life. To see what's in our latest issue, please click here
Day 3 Of The Royal Melbourne Horse Show
© Equine Image Photography
How to get your horses coat show ready with Tip Top Showing
Go to a top-level show anywhere, and you'll be struck by the way the horses' coat gleam. How do they get that horse-show glow? Here, the secrets of coat care and pre-show preparation that produce a winning look. Keep that healthy glow. Health and nutrition are the basis of a good coat. There's no way your horse can grow a shiny coat if he's missing essential nutrients or isn't dewormed regularly.
No cutting corners. Elbow grease is the magic ingredient that brings up the shine. When you care for your horse's coat every day, pre-show prep is a snap.
Keep baths to a minimum. Lots of soapy baths will dry and dull your horse's coat. Brushing will remove dirt while stimulating the skin.
Pre-show prep: we recommend to clip the legs 3 to 4 days before a show, to give clipper marks a chance to grow out, and faces the day before. Then, just before a horse goes in the ring, we apply hoof polish and a little face highlighter.
Quarter Marks (Patterns)
Show horse and pony quarter marks can seem very complicated but practice is all that is needed to get them right.
• Quarter mark comb (or small hair comb trimmed to about 1" in length).
• A wide body brush with closely knitted bristles.
• A bucket of water.
• Horse coat gloss.
• A finishing spray (Supreme Products Sparkle is used by many professional show horse and pony producers).
tip top showing checkers
Creating quarter marks.

© Tip Top Showing
Step One
Before marking up begins, spray some of the equine coat gloss generously on to the horse's coat and quarters area. The coat gloss will create a blank canvas to work with and will also help keep the finished markings in place. With a body brush, start at the top of the horse's quarters and brush the hair straight from left to right, working down to just above the horse's thigh.
Step Two
For Show Ponies and Hacks the traditional markings are an upside down V checkerboard pattern. To create this effect, a quarter marking comb is needed. Start on the left hand side at the top of the horse's quarters and gently comb down to create an even small square around one inch in size, then leave a gap of an inch and comb down again. Continue this until about six squares have been created. More squares might be needed for larger horses and ponies.
Once the first row has been created, add in the additional markings directly below the square that has not been combed. Each row should have one less square in it, so that it will eventually end in a V-shape.
Once the 'V' is completed, repeat this exercise on the other side. It is important that the marks are applied on the other side in directly the same place as the ones that have just been produced, otherwise when the judge stands behind the horse the quarters will not look even.
About Tip Top Showing
Tip Top Showing was created to help the not very experienced show riders to experienced show riders with preparing their show horses for shows. This includes information about plaiting, patterns, makeup, materials (including best products to use), gear etc.
Tip Top Showing also offers people to post there results from show days and highly recommend emailing us at TipTopShowing@live.com if you have any inquiries about showing and the rules or even email us a photo if you want some friendly advise and areas for improvement.
Our team at Tip Top Showing are experienced show riders that have successfully competed at all types of shows including, agriculture shows. We experts when it comes to preparing our horses for show day and would like to further our expertise to others.





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